Heavy snow fall brings many hazards and potential damages. One of the most dangerous issues can come with snow on a roof.
It is not uncommon to hear of heavy snow causing roofs to collapse or cave in. If old snow does not have the chance to fully melt it will freeze into a solid sheet of ice, making the frozen layer heavier and causing more strain on the structure of your roof. Another snow fall on top of the layer of ice could be potentially disastrous for your home. Snow and ice together can roughly weigh up to 20 to 30 pounds per square foot. This added burden on your home can immediately cause irreparable damage.
If you have snow or ice built up on your roof, it may be best for you to purchase a roof rake. These rakes are extendable and will allow you to remove the snow and ice from the roof without your feet leaving the ground. Be careful though, falling snow and ice is extremely dangerous. Stand as far away from your house as possible to avoid being injured. The roof does not necessarily need to be completely cleaned off. Since one inch of ice is around 5 pounds, removing just some of the frozen weight will help significantly. Make sure your roof is cleared off and gutters are cleaned out before the first snow fall, this will help to create paths for water to run freely off of the roof before it has the chance to freeze.
It is nearly impossible to know for sure when a roof will collapse. Be sure to keep your eye out for signs such as drooping ceilings, leaks or cracks in walls and ceilings, and jammed doors. If you hear cracking or popping, leave your house immediately and hire a professional to investigate the source of the noises. Safety is incredibly important this time of year, as winter brings on a different set of hazards. Please pay attention to any changes in your home and seek professional help if a situation is too much for you to handle on your own.